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  • Vietnam's Tong Thi Phong, deputy chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam, and Cuba's Jose Ramon Machado, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.

    Vietnam's Tong Thi Phong, deputy chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam, and Cuba's Jose Ramon Machado, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. | Photo: Granma

Published 18 February 2017
Opinion

Cuba and Vietnam have enjoyed friendly relations since 1960, following their respective revolutions.

The Communist Party of Vietnam, CPV, is participating in a week-long delegation in Cuba, meeting with their Communist Party of Cuba, CPC, counterparts to build joint economic development strategies.

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CPV representative Tong Thi Phong and CPC Second Secretary Jose Ramon Machado are leading workshops focused on updating Cuba’s socialist economic model using examples from Vietnam’s “renovation process.” The process began in 1986 with free market reforms that transformed the country from a centrally-planned economy to what it describes as a “socialist-oriented market economy.”

“Vietnam has spent more than 30 years in the process of renewal, and we have some experiences that can be shared with our Cuban comrades,” Phong said after a delegation meeting, Prensa Latina reports.

Phong also met with Tania Leon, President of the People's Power Provincial Assembly in Matanzas. The city, located 100 kilometers east of Havana, is one of many cities experimenting with market reforms carefully monitored by the Cuban government.

The CPV representative said she believes Matanzas would become a major financial center for Cuba in the near future. Phong also expressed interest in working alongside Cuban environmental engineers to develop green city planning in Vietnam. 

In 2012, CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong met with President Raul Castro in Havana, where the two initiated joint talks focused on updating Cuba’s economic model. Trong oversaw Vietnam’s transition to a socialist-oriented market economy in 1986. 

The Southeast Asian country has been home to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world since the reforms. Vietnam has an annual growth rate of almost 10 percent, PricewaterhouseCoopers reports. 

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Cuba has undergone similar reforms — although not to the extent Vietnam has — since Raul took power in 2008. In 2011, the VI Congress of the CPC approved reforms that allow for small private property and liberalized markets in certain areas. 

The reforms have also made Cuba more open to exchanges with other countries than at any other time after 1959.

Cuba and Vietnam have enjoyed friendly relations since 1960, following their respective revolutions. Vietnam is Cuba’s second largest trading partner in Asia after China, Xinhua reports. 

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